‘YU Got This’ event focuses on student mental health and wellness

The second-floor atrium of the Scott Library will be overrun with puppies, study tips and well-being resources during the YU Got This event on Nov. 20.

A student peer health mentor outlines some strategies for students about stress management and wellness

YU Got This runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is presented by the Learning Commons, Student Community & Leadership Development’s Learning Skills Services and Health Education & Promotion units. The event focuses on helping students develop skills to manage their stress and well-being as they enter the exam period.

Sophie Bury, director of the Learning Commons and Reference Services at the York University Libraries explains the importance of having the Learning Commons participate in the event. “This fall term sees the integration for the first time of Learning Commons partners for YU Got This,” said Bury. “The addition of more Learning Commons partners this year, including representatives from the libraries, the ESL Open Learning Center and the Writing Department, will enrich the programming further, for an event that is designed to help equip students with tools, resources and strategies during exams and assignment crunch time.”

Student peer leaders and professional staff will be present at the event to provide students with a variety of study and wellness tips geared to help them start the exam season off on the right foot. Results from the 2016 National College Health Assessment confirm that exams can be a very demanding time of year for students. The assessment shows that students across Ontario find academics to be particularly stressful.

Learning Skills Specialist, Mona Frial-Brown with a therapy dog

“YU Got This has continued to be an important event for our students because it gives them the opportunity to learn more about the academic and well-being supports on campus, make connections with York’s community members, and to gain practical tips and confidence heading into the end of term,” said Learning Skills Specialist Nicole Joron.

Health Education and Training Specialist Shaila Khan explained the importance of taking a multi-pronged approach to support students effectively. “It was important that we couple learning skills with wellness strategies,” said Khan. “We know that during exams it can be difficult to balance self-care and working under stressful conditions for an extended period can lead to burnout and a number of serious health issues. We want to make sure that students know that wellness impacts so many different facets of life. By helping students understand different ways to practice self-care, we’re helping them to boost their confidence and success.”

YU Got This has continued to be a popular event with students at York University. The same event held in March 2019 had more than 570 interactions at the different stations set up throughout the space highlighting services available to students. Participants especially enjoyed interacting with therapy dogs, a popular service provided to help students reduce their stress leading up to exams.

The Student Council of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies (SCOLAPS) is also hosting a Mental Health Week, Nov. 18 to 23, to raise awareness about healthy ways to manage stress and anxiety. Some of the planned activities include therapy dogs, stress balls, art materials, free healthy food and much more. All will be available in Vari Hall.